This is a bit off-subject for a politics blog. But it’s such a great rant that I couldn’t resist.
This reader responded via email to a story I co-wrote for Sunday’s paper with Denis Cuff about growing incivility in campgrounds. I camp quite a bit and after several unhappy experiences, I decided to find out if other folks found themselves in similar circumstances. And yep, I’m not alone in my frustration.
I’ve edited the content somewhat for language, punctuation and clarity, but here’s what the reader had to say:
Good article. And I thank you for it.
I wish you had told people to just simply stay home if they don’t know what they are doing.
And you forgot to tell people that going into nature in an SUV is like going into church with a Penthouse in one hand, a bottle of tequila in the other and (wearing) crotchless pants.
Oh and you forgot to tell people that when they are out for a hike and there are no toilets around, they should NOT (urinate) on the trails, but need to walk a ways into the woods and find a spot.
Twice a year, I go camping.
I try to get an environmental spot, if I can. But if I have to camp amongst Joe BigMac then I do.
At Pfieffer – Big Sur last month, had to camp with a horde of Joe Bigmacs.
On day two, some nut job arrives in a huge RV. She blasted “The End” by The Doors over and over and over. It’s like that was the point of her camping trip, to listen to the same song on a loop.
In the morning, it wasn’t an issue. I wake up before most and head out. In the late afternoon, when I came back to resupply and take a breather, it wasn’t that big of a deal (but slightly obnoxious.)
The evening was quiet. But at 10:30ish-pm, “THIS IS THE END … ”
I stormed over and blinded her with my flashlight so she couldn’t see through my ruse. I pretended to be “The Man,” a park ranger, and gave her two options: Turn it @#$% off or @#$% leave!
She turned it off.
And she was quiet the next day.
The spigot, yep, used to wash dishes. The thing is, is once one person does it, everyone decides “Why not?” The mosquitos were pleased as punch.
Hip, young 22-year-old, trying to wow his chick with his nature skills so he could get some action. He left his food out all night. At 3:30 a.m., the animals had a PARTY! The raucus, the noise, the all-you-can-eat buffet!
That evening, Mr. Suave treated his honey to a fire, made up of treated and painted wood (big no-no) with flames that kissed the trees and kissed the two large cans of lighter fluid they had sitting out. (What kind of moron needs lighter fluid to start a fire? Who needs two cans?)
Realizing they could easily burn down the site and die, they decided to calm the fire down a tad.
Speaking of flame, it never fails, everytime I go camping, I come across an abondoned fire.
The kids, oh the kids, love their bikes. My campsite made an excellent bike path. Heck, even adults decided to waltz on through. I should have offered guided tours: Here’s my tent circa 1988; here’s my post-modern,
crimson folding chair with cup holder; and this lovely thing is my jumbo thermos for fire dousing.
I’ll keep this year’s Sequoia stories to myself. They’re basically similar.
Except one: A group of nerds who have never been camping before in their lives, never touched a tent before in their lives (trust me, it was obvious) brought along a blue laser.
But it wasn’t enough to aim it at the stars like it’s supposed to be used for. They started firing into people’s campsites and almost got my eye. Blue lasers can do severe eye damage. They make regular laser pointers seem like a harmless Christmas light.
Some glorious day (hopefully soon) Nintendo will come out with a camping video game, and Joe BigMacs and nerds will just stay put and “live” the experience at home.
P.S. Oh and you forgot to say that anyone who needs an air mattress is a sissy.